Leadership is INFLUENCE (thanks John Maxwell). I daresay, TOO MUCH INFLUENCE, especially spiritual leadership.
And because spiritual leaders have SO MUCH INFLUENCE, we need to really be careful how we live and lead, especially for what my sister girl Theodora calls ‘the sake of the Brethren’, while of course we keep teaching and giving them permission to follow JESUS first and above us.
Which is why I am vocal on my blog here and YT channel about sharing my mistakes and retracing my steps PUBLICALLY so that I don’t have.
A recent passion of mine is really helping everyone I have influence over grow into spiritual maturity, and be wise enough to be Berean about the things we see taught or modeled to us from the Pulpit or our fave leaders and influencers.
Like Paul says in 1 Cor 3, Paul, Apollos, Peter, and any Man of God is NOT your model so don’t be a blind follower, or let anyone use you to grow their influence.
WE FOLLOW JESUS, Simples!!!
I certainly don’t want anyone I have influence over to follow me over God. I want all of us to be so spiritually sound and mature that even if somehow, I or any spiritual leader we follow misses the way, we leave him or her and keep following JESUS, not that we join them in deviating.
I am also now holding myself to higher standards as I lead because truly leadership is such a higher calling, not because people respect you and say ‘Ma and Mama’, but because YOU WILL BE HELD DOUBLE ACCOUNTABLE.
James 3 v 1 MSG
Don’t be in any rush to become a Teacher, my friends. Teaching is highly responsible work and Teachers are held to the STRICTEST STANDARDS
KJV says ‘…receive the greater condemnation’
So, I carry this assignment carefully. Which is why I wanna share a couple of mistakes I have made, which by the mercies of God, I have corrected, not just to throw myself under the bus, but to let you know how NOT to follow, even if you still submit to a person’s leadership
Here are those five leadership unlearnings I have had to do…
1. OVER ACTIVITY
This one is an easy trap to fall into as a HIGH D on the DISC profile, Eneagram number 8 or straight on Choleric like me. You just wanna keep doing doing doing, and while it is OK for me to do, (which is not), I should not drag others into my frenzy.
Yes, we want people to stretch, but they don’t have to break.
I must have gotten a few people to breaking point, and I am thankful that not only could I retrace my steps, I could also save those relationships.
The problem with this over activity where they don’t have time and margin for other things, is not even that they won’t serve you, because they may still serve you, but once their time or tenure is up with you (or that particular church), when they get into the next season, they steer clear of service, and just want to serve God alone.
We literally hemorrhage people out of the church (especially service in church) when we as Leaders over use and stretch them until they break.
I am thankful for wisdom now on how to have just the right amount and frequency of activities, that allow people serve at their best while giving them margin in their lives for their other equally important assignments.
2. Modelling too little sleep as a pre-requisite for purposeful living.
This one is a dicey one because I can’t say I told people directly to sleep for x hours or not, but as a leader, my actions influence so loud, and I know how people who I mentor would, thanks to stories from my life; decide to move from 8 or more hours of sleep to now wanting to sleep for 3 or 4 hours like me, and would fall into all kinds of troubles.
This is such an important topic that I needed a 3D medium to expound on it, so head on over to YouTube and hear me share why we MAY need to sleep for 8hours, and also why I don’t.
3. Not giving people enough permission to say NO!!!
And I have learned that for some people, what that permission looks like is actually saying NO for them, meaning you don’t even LET THEM DO IT, or let a certain task come to them, because no matter the permission you give, they won’t take it, instead they will want to stretch to please you.
I told you leadership can be too much influence, really.
There are times I had given tasks and not given any allowance for a NO, interpreting every NO as laziness or your not willing to give your best or stretch.
While honestly, some people are lazy and unwilling to stretch (and those ones are easy to know, and weed out by a good leader), some tasks honestly may require a NO, or LATER or I NEED MORE TIME, and now I am quick to extend that grace to the ones who serve a God-vision with me.
I want people to actually ENJOY serving with me, and not feel like they are constantly stretching or not being their authentic selves, or the worst, afraid of me.
I had to call a meeting of everyone who served or volunteered with me, and part of what I told them was they had the permission to SAY NO, or even ask to be excused from their role.
I have had to tell myself that it is OK if they are no longer following me, so long as they are still following and serving Jesus.
Not easy, and in fact, can be hurting, but wisdom and freedom for me as a Leader.
4. INCESSANT MEETINGS.
Very closely linked to over activity, and I would like to use The WILD, a praying community of women that I lead.
We fast on Wednesdays and at first, we used to pray 5 times in 12 hours!!!
5 TIMES IN 12 HOURS, Saints!!!
So between 6am and 6pm, we prayed 5 different times, and on a WEEKDAY!!!
6am, 9am, 12noon, 3pm and 6pm
And not only did I attend all, but I also required my leaders to attend too, and I always felt somehow when anyone took permission to be absent.
Once a meeting was over, I had barely settled into anything else, when it would be time for another meeting.
So glad the Lord rescued me from my over activity and frankly, foolishness.
Now, we still fast but meet to pray only 3 times during those 12 hours, which has an even better impact on us all.
The excess meeting times didn’t mean people would grow better spiritually. In fact, I think it had counter effects, because once we reduced to 3 times, we started to see meeting rooms hit 100 and above in attendance.
Plus my leaders and I had more margin in our day to serve the other visions God had given us, and do our work!!!
Please as a leader, let’s fight the too much meetings trap. Because we love the people we lead and want them to grow, we think all the meetings will help, but it won’t.
Let JESUS lead, and where you see too many meetings in any place you serve, please feel free to revert to the 3rd thing I mentioned, and if you don’t have permission to reduce or say NO, then let God speak to you about how you serve there.
DISCLAIMER: This is not about irresponsibility or laziness ooo. don’t say Eziaha said when you are only endorsing your SUPER slack!!!
5. NO ENFORCED BREAKS!!!
Now, I need to hail my Pastor Sam Adeyemi here.
Gosh, in Daystar, it is COMPULSORY for the Pastors and top leaders to take a leave and actually travel for vacation. As you submit a plan for the year, it has to be part of it.
I am now adopting that into my leadership, first for myself.
I take Mondays completely off. My phone doesn’t even come on, except in an emergency. It is the 24/6 life I mention here.
Then I am scheduling 2 weeks or more of break into my year at different times, including on my blogs and YT channel
Because I work for and basically am the leader almost everywhere I find myself, it is easy to go go go, but I have rejected that life in Jesus name, and I am ready to take a break at different times.
I also am working that into the people and places I lead.
I don’t want anyone working without breaks, so whether it is a weekly break, monthly break, or even hours in a working day where you take a break, I am here for it.
For example, in the WILD editorial team, those who run the website, they publish for 6 weeks straight and take one week off.
Even with my blog and YT, I have scheduled times when I am not creating or publishing so I and my team can REST!!!
Please don’t be comfortable anywhere you cant take a breather from, after working so hard. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you (and your leader) how to work effectively BETWEEN BREAKS!!!
There you go.
I hope this helps. I really pray it does.
The Matthew 11 code is what we all need to embrace as Saints
Which can you resonate with, either where you serve in a leading or following capacity?
Drop a line, and don’t forget to watch the YT video on sleep here. It really has some amazing insights that will help help help.
Cheers to your BEST service!!!
And on YouTube checkout this recent video.